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  1. I'd always assumed they were there for a through draft rather than to see out of, as some pictures seem to show them slanting open.
  2. They were the only time that we normally saw Dukedogs on the main line out of Paddington. Remember one double headed in the late fifties.
  3. The only other scheduled service shown with identical formation (less van) is the 10.18 to Oxford. Mostly 3-car or 2x 3 car sets. I wonder how they worked out three car sets were optimal, as they were intended to replace the five coach Q sets (which carried on for another few months). Perhaps they compiled actual usage statistics (or perhaps not!)
  4. In the 1960 version I have the 6.38, train number 2A52 as all stations to West Drayton & Yiewsley, connects to Uxbridge and Staines West: Single power car )) Drive end trailer )) West Drayton 3 car set )) K Van (Mails) ) Uxbridge K - attached at Paddington from Stop blocks. Would look very good in model form, but somebody would say it didn't happen!
  5. Thank you very much for this. I couldn't understand why I had the date of 1958 in my head for Greenford, when I knew that the Class 121's weren't about until 1961. I hadn't realised that the 122's were used on that route, and can't remember seeing any either, although I may not have realised the difference at the age I then was. I can well remember travelling in the GWR railcars to Staines, but didn't take any pictures until the 121's arrived. The auto trains all disappeared in one go at Southall (they had their own servicing line the other side of the Brentford branch) except for the spare car for the Marlow branch, which was often just left in one of the goods sidings. (although why not at Slough, which was a lot nearer) I've no idea. The 117's worked to Uxbridge as well, although never, I think, to Staines. Picture below is from 1962, just before closure.
  6. I've mislaid some notes I made some time ago about the actual, precise, dates when auto-trains last ran on the Greenford-Ealing service, and also for the Uxbridge and Staines Branches. Can anybody help me on this, or point me to reference sources? So far as I remember the Greenford line went straight from auto-trains to Class 121 units. Both Staines and Uxbridge were operated by a combination of GWR railcars and auto-trains. Towards the end of the 1950's the GWR railcars would operate mainly during the day, until about tea-time, when they then worked to Uxbridge (which didn't have an afternoon service.) Auto-trains then took over on the Staines line. They were all replaced so far as I remember by Class 121 units at the same time, and Southall presumably lost all it's auto-cars and GWR railcars at the same date.
  7. Having lived next to the WR main line for all of that period, and being a keen train spotter, I can remember seeing no foreign motive power. I think I have a picture of a Type 33 on a Sunday excursion, but never saw any SR engines (or rolling stock) during the reference period. There were certainly some troop trains in the early fifties, but I wasn't old enough to register the origin of the coaches. I did once see an LT train being towed through, but have no idea at all where that was going (or coming from!). The most foreign looking machines we saw were the ROD 2-8-0's (quite uncommon). I can recall one ex USA S160, but that must have been in the early '50s. Sorry not to have come up with anything! But I think Paddington to Slough (the extent of my knowledge) was pretty much a GWR dominated zone!
  8. Just a note on my previous post for the sake of historical accuracy! I didn't want to imply that green GW railcars never went to Staines, only that I can't remember them (I was young and it was a long time ago!) However they certainly went to Uxbridge Vine St. There is a good picture of green W30 at Cowley on 4th May 1960 in "Britain's Rail Super Centres: London: The Great Western LInes" by Laurence Waters, along with a picture of a pair, both in red and cream, on the branch on the same day.
  9. Bit off topic, but my earliest trips on the Staines branch in the late fifties were in ex GWR railcars, all painted red and cream. I can't recall seeing a green one on the branch before the bubble cars took over. My last ever trip in an ex GWR set (33/38, green with additional coach) was from Hayes on an up suburban service, substituting for a Class 117 DMU, must have been in the early sixties. My chum and I were astonished to see this set arrive, as it didn't put in a regular appearance on services. We travelled in the coach, which seemed to have been newly painted, and I seem to remember very antiseptic in appearance, with everything painted in a gloss off white/cream, and any superfluous fittings having been removed.
  10. There are some views in "The Railways of Winchester" by Kevin Robertson & Roger Simmons (Platform 5 Publishing, 1988, there are plenty of copies on line, eg at ABEbooks.co.uk).
  11. The book on Cowans Sheldon ( "Carlisle's Crane Makers" by Alan Earnshaw (Nostalgia Road, 2004)) has a chapter on their turntables, which were either manual, vacuum or electricity. Thornaby depot on Teeside had an electric turntable according to the book, with a couple of pictures. Interesting about the Old Oak turntable. The author mentions that Cowans Sheldon generally had little success selling anything to the GWR or the WR of BR, although the traverser at Swindon works was on of theirs.
  12. Some trains certainly had specific vehicles attached, and the start and destination were written on the side of the full brake. I can remember seeing both Wootton Bassett and Penzance written on the sides. The vehicle numbers were sometimes specified in the train make up; eg the 1.05. a.m. Milk Empties , West London to Swindon, (Summer 1960) specified Brake Van 117 or 321. The former was a diagram K41, the latter a diagram K45. There's a really good shot of a King on a milk empties train, with about twenty on, in Brian Morrison's Book: Steam Around London: The Postwar Years.
  13. Thanks for the clarification. I've never been quite sure what the 'X' rating meant! The "Formation and Working" books seem consistent only in their inconsistency.....The 'X' was obviously not used for brown vehicles, only coaching stock e.g. 4.30 a.m. Westbury Milk, train 3B18: 2 Siphons G (MX) Van 2nd X ) Compo X ) (SO) 2nd X ) Van 2nd X ) 2nd X Brake Van Van E News Van (Footnote reads 'E- gangways to be connected') E Brake Van (Footnote reads 'E- gangways to be connected') Brake Van Q Set (light) (MSX) Interesting train to model. Any ideas on a "light" "Q" Set??! Robert
  14. Thanks to everybody for your comments and help. I think it is worth trying to quantify this information while we have a chance! Particular thanks to chrisf for the set numbers, this is really useful, and much as I remember them. Many thanks also to robertcwp for some really evocative and wonderful pictures of the Western suburban services, which seem to have been less photographed than many other lines. Just a small question: surely the "X" in the "Formation and Working of Trains from Paddington" refers to non-gangwayed stock rather than gangwayed? My main question has, however, been answered: that short and long Mk1 subs were used in the same trains. I wanted to be sure as I was just about to buy some from Replica Railways..... With no apologies I also attach a picture taken from my bedroom window with a box Brownie c. 1960, showing a short Mk1 brake (at Hayes). Robert
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